I’m getting my flow hive in February, and this will be my first beehive. I have support from a local beekeeper who’s very keen to help me set it up and manage it so she can see how it works herself while I learn, but I wondered if I could pick your brains?
I’m trying to work out my garden plan for our new house which we move to in 3 weeks, and am thinking about the best position for the hive, and also how to set it up in that area. I’ve attached the draft plan with the location of the beehive indicated by the red arrow. This is east/west orientation (do bees have a preference of which way their entrance faces?). I’m in New Zealand and our coldest winds come from the south. I’d have the hive entrance facing the west side of the garden (which is the back of the section).
I was thinking of putting it on a paved area because I figure I’ll be watching it and around it so often that I’m quite likely to turn grass to mud in winter. The south fence is quite high, around 1.8m, and I’ll also be planting some trees/ shrubs to further break up our cold southerly winds, and thought I’d also make life really easy for the bees and plant a range of flowering wildflowers etc right around their hive. On the plan you can see the area we intend to keep mowed - the plan being to let the grass at the rear of the section grow as it will, and this will likely be fenced off so our chooks and bunny can free-range in this area when we’re around.
I know the bees need some clearance area around their entrance because this is where they defecate and drop dead bee carcases, so the paving should also help because I’m able to sweep or wash it clean - right? I’m a little worried it might overheat in summer though because of course the sun will heat up the pavers (this should help them in winter). The hive in this position will get all day sun in summer, and at least 6 hours a day in winter.
I’d love your feedback.
Thanks in advance,